October 13, 2017
Dear Parents/Guardians/Grandparents/and Interested Citizens:
On Wednesday, I attended a Selectmen’s meeting where three concerns were expressed about children using the Main Street Crosswalk onto Parker Street. The first concern was an observation that traffic appears to be going faster in this area and the police are trying to mitigate this issue, whenever possible.
The second concern is that the flashing yellow light at this crosswalk location is not always reliable and town officials are working with state officials to get this repaired.
The third concern is there is not a crossing guard at this location. The one crossing guard the School Board employs is strategically located at the crosswalk where students cross upper Parker Street to gain access to the school’s sidewalk. This area has a steady stream of cars and buses entering school property to drop off students.
After discussion, it was agreed that an effort will be made to designate the crosswalk at the 4-way intersection on Main Street and Route 119 as the one children will be instructed to use. This location has wider visibility, a larger crosswalk, and a pedestrian controlled traffic light.
To this end, I was joined by two Selectmen on Thursday morning to meet students and explain the new procedure for students crossing in that location. I followed up again on Friday. Once they cross in this location, they can proceed down Main Street onto Parker Street.
I was impressed with the courtesy of students as they listened to the reasons for this change. It was fun talking and walking with them first thing in the morning.
Even if your children do not walk to school it might be helpful to talk with them about the importance of using crosswalks when they are available instead of crossing the street in random areas. Especially being cautious of not walking across the street in front of a parked car. Also, regardless of whether or not your child rides a bike to school, it is important to remind him/her to stop at the crosswalk and WALK the bike across the street. Please be sure they are wearing a bike helmet to comply with State law
Thank you for taking the time to read this Newsletter.
Alan D. Genovese, Ed.D
Interim Superintendent of Winchester Schools